Distinctive Geological Characters

The project Distinctive Geological Characters [Caracteres Geológicos Peculiares] enabled the dialogue between two Medellín cultural institutions—an art museum’s library and a mineralogy museum. Arranged in the form of an installation and a book, objects from Colombia National University’s Tulio Ospina Mineralogy Museum were set in relation to the library collection of Museo de Antioquia, the organizer of the 2007 Medellín International Art Encounter – MDE 2007.

Considering that mineralogy museums usually omit any contextualization related to mining, landscape and history are not considered, disregarding human, environmental and economic aspects. An exhibition in the library of the Antioquia Museum revealed how the mineralogy museum’s lithoteque had initially been organized with collections of materials that had been next to the minerals. Supports or bases used to display specimens, boxes and cans in which samples were brought to the museum, and informative devices such as signage labels showing the names, origins and donors of specimens convey narratives about the institution and the minerals in this collection.

A book was made with reproductions of glass slides found in the mineralogy museum and photos of texts from a book in the library. Contents covering the history and landscape of the Colombian region emphasized similarity with the physical and historical aspects of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Narrated performances included book readings and image screenings.

[2007] INSTALLATION: Clasificaciones y Contenedores: boxes and tins [various formats]; printed and handmade labels; wooden stands with denominations [collection of Mineralogy Museum Tulio Ospina]; diagram; Conference Caracteres Geológicos Peculiares. BOOK: Bethônico, Mabe. La forma especial de los caracteres geológicos peculiares, Belo Horizonte, 58 pages and audio CD in collaboration with Jalver Bethônico, 5 copies, 2007. Graphics in collaboration with Jônio Bethônico.

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